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Defining the Good Life - Essay Example

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Wealth, health, a life without sorrow and pain are some of what seem to give people satisfaction, one that is said to be a good life. Perhaps it is. For the Greeks, a good life is one that shows happiness…
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Defining the Good Life
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Download file to see previous pages Wealth, health, a life without sorrow and pain are some of what seem to give people satisfaction, one that is said to be a good life. Perhaps it is. For the Greeks, a good life is one that shows happiness. It is then a matter of getting the most of what one has. For instance, a person who is lacking in wealth, according to the definition of the Greeks, can still have a good life depending on how he lives his life. That certain individual can either live in misery which is the extreme opposite of a good life or live so that he would make his life worthwhile and productive, a life that is flourishing. Human flourishing is a wonderful parallelism of the Greeks to a good life because it is perhaps the most accurate or closest accurate definition. Growing well is indeed one of the measures that show how a life is well-lived. It is not just a matter of living in luxury but it is also how a person lives to acquire a luxurious life, having the virtues a good life brings. This means that, in the case of wealthy people, they should not just enjoy what they have but strive to maintain and grow their wealth. However during the process, they should also maintain ethical attributes to keep them proud and satisfied with their achievements. When a person progresses or gains more wealth through illegal means or by using and abusing other people; that individual will definitely feel ashamed of himself. In fact, people who prosper in such a manner always live in fear of government authorities or their rivals and the people they have hurt. They may live in luxury, have money to burn but they do not have a good life because of the absence of the virtues they should possess. As the famous Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living for” (facultyfiles.frostburg.edu). Indeed, when an individual does not examine himself, he tends to commit mistakes and repeats them time and again. Obviously, a life full of mistakes and without virtues is miserable and undesirable. It is not a good life. Being a philosopher, Socrates was actually pointing out to the critical examination of things, events and ideas, the contemplation, self-examination and open-minded wondering (facultyfiles.frostburg.edu) that lead to finding the reasons for everything. A good life is a life of reasonable reasons. Reasons abound but if they are well thought, they make sense and therefore show the energy put into it. However, when reasons are shallow, they often look and sound ridiculous, exposing the life of the person that is not worth living. In relation to the aforementioned discussion on having virtues, it is acquired by having a well-examined life. One who thinks about himself and knows his strengths and weaknesses would definitely be able to build up the strengths and work on his weaknesses in order for him to become a better person. For instance, when a person knows that he has talents in arts, he can do something to develop his gift and become skillful and successful regardless of his situations. A person who knows he is gifted but does nothing to improve it spends no time contemplating about what a privilege he has, has a life not worth living. Self-examination in itself is a virtue and indulging in it develops more virtues in an individual. For example, a man who examines himself develops honesty. It would be futile to examine one’s self and deny what he sees because this will cause a person to lose his virtues instead of gaining them. However, if a man scrutinizes himself and recognizes and accepts his weaknesses and faults, positive changes follow which is the development of more virtues that show what a real good life ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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